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The Best Emulator Games for Android and iOS


Emulator Games vs Original Games: Which One Should You Play?




If you love retro gaming, you may have wondered whether you should play emulator games or original games. Emulator games are games that run on software or hardware that mimics the functionality of another device, such as a console or an arcade machine. Original games are games that run on their intended devices, such as the ones they were designed for or released on. Emulator games and original games have some advantages and disadvantages over each other, depending on your preferences and goals. In this article, we will compare emulator games and original games and help you decide which one you should play.




emulator games



What Are Emulator Games?




Definition




An emulator game is a game that runs on an emulator, which is a software or hardware that simulates the functionality of another device. Emulators allow you to play games that are otherwise inaccessible, outdated, or expensive on your modern devices, such as your PC, smartphone, or tablet. Emulators can also enhance the graphical quality, control options, and customization of the games they run.


Examples




Some examples of emulator games are:


  • Pokemon Red on a Game Boy emulator running on your PC



  • Super Mario 64 on a Nintendo 64 emulator running on your smartphone



  • Street Fighter II on an arcade machine emulator running on your tablet



What Are Original Games?




Definition




An original game is a game that runs on its original device, such as the one it was designed for or released on. Original games offer the authentic feel and nostalgia of playing retro games on their intended devices. Original games may also support features or functions that are not emulated correctly or at all by emulators.


Examples




Some examples of original games are:


  • Pokemon Red on a Game Boy handheld console



  • Super Mario 64 on a Nintendo 64 home console



  • Street Fighter II on an arcade machine cabinet



Advantages of Emulator Games




Enhanced Graphical Quality




One of the main advantages of emulator games is that they can improve the graphical quality of older games by rendering them at higher resolutions, applying filters, or smoothing pixels. This can make the games look sharper, smoother, and more colorful on modern screens. For example, you can play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on an emulator running in 1080p, while the original game ran at 320x240 on the Nintendo 64.


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More Control Options and Customization




Another advantage of emulator games is that they can offer more control options and customization than original games. You can use different input devices, such as keyboards, mice, gamepads, or touchscreens, and adjust the settings to your liking. You can also use cheats, mods, translations, or hacks to alter the gameplay or content of the games. For example, you can play Super Mario World with a keyboard and mouse, or use a mod that adds new levels and enemies.


Save States




A third advantage of emulator games is that they can save your progress at any point using save states, which are snapshots of the game's memory. This makes it easier to resume your game later, or retry a difficult section without losing progress. Original games may have limited or no saving features, or require passwords or memory cards. For example, you can save your game before a boss fight in Final Fantasy VII, or load a previous state if you die.


Online Play and Multiplayer Modes




A fourth advantage of emulator games is that they can support online play and multiplayer modes using netplay, which allows you to connect with other players over the internet. This can revive the social aspect of retro gaming, especially for games that originally required local co-op or versus modes. For example, you can play GoldenEye 007 with your friends online, or join a tournament of Street Fighter II.


Large and Diverse Library of Games




A fifth advantage of emulator games is that they can give you access to a large and diverse library of games from various platforms and regions. You can play games that are rare, expensive, out of print, or never released in your country. You can also discover new genres, styles, and experiences that you may have missed. For example, you can play Chrono Trigger, which is one of the best RPGs ever made but was not released in Europe until 2009, or try out some Japanese-only games like Mother 3 or Policenauts. Disadvantages of Emulator Games




Performance and Compatibility Issues




One of the main disadvantages of emulator games is that they may not run perfectly on your device, depending on the quality of the emulation software and the hardware requirements. Some emulators may have bugs, glitches, lag, crashes, or compatibility issues with certain games or devices. You may need to tweak the settings or use different emulators to get the best performance. For example, you may encounter graphical errors or sound distortion in some games, or your device may not be powerful enough to run some emulators smoothly.


Loss of Authenticity and Nostalgia




Another disadvantage of emulator games is that they may not capture the authentic feel and nostalgia of playing original games on their intended devices. You may miss the physical buttons, cartridges, discs, controllers, or consoles that you grew up with. You may also lose some of the charm and quirks of the original graphics and sound. For example, you may not appreciate the pixel art or chiptune music of some retro games as much on a high-definition screen or a modern speaker.


Legal and Ethical Concerns




A third disadvantage of emulator games is that they may raise legal and ethical questions regarding the ownership and distribution of ROMs, which are the files that contain the game data. ROMs are usually obtained by ripping them from game cartridges or discs, which is illegal unless you own a physical copy of the game. Downloading ROMs from online sources may also be illegal or risky. For example, you may be violating the copyright laws or the terms of service of the game developers or publishers, or you may expose your device to malware or viruses.


Missing Features or Functions




A fourth disadvantage of emulator games is that they may not support all the features or functions of original games. Some emulators may not emulate certain aspects of the hardware correctly, such as motion controls, light guns, rumble packs, or accessories. Some emulators may also lack online services or features that were available on the original platforms. For example, you may not be able to use the Wii Remote to play Wii Sports on an emulator, or you may not be able to access the online multiplayer mode of Mario Kart DS.


Conclusion




Summary




In conclusion, emulator games and original games have some advantages and disadvantages over each other, depending on your preferences and goals. Emulator games can enhance the graphical quality, control options, customization, saving features, online play, and library of games that you can play on modern devices. However, emulator games may also have performance and compatibility issues, loss of authenticity and nostalgia, legal and ethical concerns, and missing features or functions compared to original games.


Recommendation




Ultimately, it depends on your personal preference and goal whether you want to play emulator games or original games. If you want to enjoy retro gaming on modern devices with more options and variety, you may prefer emulator games. If you want to experience retro gaming as it was meant to be played with more authenticity and nostalgia, you may prefer original games. Either way, you can have fun playing some of the best games ever made.


Frequently Asked Questions




What are some of the best emulators for retro gaming?




Some of the best emulators for retro gaming are:


  • RetroArch: a multi-platform emulator that supports many systems and features.



Dolphin: a Nintendo GameCube and Wii emulator that offers high-quality graphics and online play.


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